Council tax to rise by 2.99% (and then some more) in Greenwich

£20 notes
Each 1% rise in council tax raises only £800,000 (photo: Howard Lake via CC BY-SA 2.0)

Greenwich Council is set to increase its portion of council tax by 2.99% to boost services for the homeless and to cover increased wage bills.

Residents will also have to pay an extra 3% charge to pay towards adult social care costs, a move which was approved last year.

The new tax rate, which needs formal backing from councillors at the end of the month, will see residents in band D homes charged £1,429.33, which also includes £294 charged by the Greater London Authority. This is a 5.8% increase on current bills.

Greenwich Council tax rates 2018/19

Because most council funds actually come from central government, each 1% rise in council tax in Greenwich only generates an extra £800,000 in income, although a paper to be presented to the council’s cabinet next week says the rise will mean up to an extra £3.9m will be available to put into services.

The paper also outlines plans to spend more on housing people who are homeless. Rates of homelessness in the borough have risen by 20% a year since January 2015 – with 343 households in emergency overnight accommodation during October.

Greenwich aims to reduce this number by sourcing longer leases from private landlords and buying properties on the open market to rent out to homeless families.

Provision can also be made to fund a possible 2% increase in staff wages, depending on a national pay agreement, the paper adds.

The budget goes before a council scrutiny panel on Tuesday, then the cabinet next Wednesday, before being approved at a full council meeting on 28 February.

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